Differential Response of Cushaw Squash (Cucurbita argyrosperma Huber) Lines, Hybrids, and Landraces in Spring versus Fall Culture in Sonora, Mexico

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  • 1 University of Sonora, Agriculture and Animal Science, Rosales and Blvd. Encinas, Hermosillo, Sonora, 83000, Mexico

Cushaw squash is cultivated in northwest Mexico mainly during the fall and to a lesser degree in the spring season, in which a lack of fruit production in experimental and commercial materials has been observed. This work was done to test 12 lines, 16 hybrids and six landraces regarding fruit and seed weight, flesh color, and soluble solids content (SSC) in both spring and fall seasons in year 2002. Estimates of fruit and seed yield were done. The crop was established by direct seeding at 0.5-m spacing between plants, on both sides of furrow-irrigated beds measuring 15 m long and 4 m wide. In the spring, fruit weight changed from 2.7 to 4.7 kg and seed weight from 17 to 118 g/fruit; fruit yield varied from 3.2 to 38.8 t·ha-1 and seed yield from 18 to 1131 kg·ha-1. Thirty-two percent of the genotypes, including lines and hybrids, but not landraces, were fruitless. SSC and flesh color had values from 4% to 7.5% and from 5.22 to 6.94 Y, respectively. For the fall culture all the genotypes showed good fruit set. Fruit weight in this season changed from 0.8 to 3 kg and seed weight from 22.3 to 97 g/fruit; fruit and seed yield varied from 4 to 28 t·ha-1 and from 135 to 923 kg·ha-1, respectively. All of the landraces were severely infected with squash leaf curl virus and had very low yields. SSC and flesh color, in this season, had values from 3.6% to 10.4% and from 5.1 to 7.94 Y, respectively.

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